When last we spoke, I was headed towards Tampa to spend a few days at my friends house. Sadly I didn’t get to hang out with him much. He departed for Israel the day after I got there. I used to think I had a pretty nice bachelors pad. That is until I got to my friends house.
I had a good couple of days lounging around the house doing nothing but soaking in the hot tub and watching Netflix. It couldn’t last though. I’m in Florida and even the oppressive humidity and afternoon thunderstorms couldn’t keep me inside forever.
I decided I needed to visit the Southern Most Point in the US. So Miami here I come.
I had to dodge some rain (and a alligator) on my way to Miami, but I made it to my Air B&B reservation without incident. I was up bright and early, headed south. It turned out to be a fairly miserable ride. It was in the mid 90’s with 95% humidity. I basically rode down to Key West, took a selfie at the Southern Most Point and rode back to Miami. A little over 300 miles round trip, just so I could get this picture:
Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum
After a few more days in Tampa, it was time to get back on the road. From Tampa I’m headed due East towards the Kennedy Space Center.
Before I get to the KSC, I saw a sign for the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum. If you’ve been following along in this trip, you know that I can’t turn down an invitation like that.
Admission is $18 for current military and vet’s. It’s $20 for non-military. I happily surprised to find out that admission included a guided tour. My tour guide was a retired Air Force pilot, a full bird Colonel no less. So he knew what he was talking about.
The detail on this P-47 is incredible. The pilot is even sculpted to resemble the actual pilot of the plane this model is based on.
The DR1 flies. Snoopy’s doghouse doesn’t.
In 1992 the Navy decided to recover this FM-1 Wildcat from its watery grave at the bottom of Lake Michigan. It was shipped to the Warbird Museum for restoration and display. It took six and a half years and around 3,500 hours to restore the aircraft to flying condition.
The Warbirds collection includes two Blue Angles jets. An A-4 Skyhawk and the F-18 pictured above.
In the 1970’s Winnebago thought it would be a good idea to make a helicopter into a mobile home and they chose the UH-19 for this honor. The helo pictured above was owned by a dentist. When the Warbird Museum got a hold of it, they mostly restored it to its military glory. The steps in front of the door are a holdover from its RV days.
Kennedy Space Center
Along with being unable to pass up old war machines, I’m also something of a technophile. I couldn’t come to Florida and not visit the Kennedy Space Center.
I hadn’t expected the Warbirds Museum, so by the time I arrived at the KSC, it was getting rather late in the afternoon.
I really enjoyed visiting the Atlantis. It was the first time I had seen one of the Space Shuttles up close. Talk about an impressive machine. Whoever designed the exhibit, did an excellent job displaying her.
After wandering around KSC for a couple of hours, it was time to get back on the road. I’ve got a couch waiting for me in Daytona.
Thanks for following along. If you haven’t signed up for my mailing list, you can do so below: